Commissioner visits Valley Fire burn area and speaks to fire victims
News: 2015 Press Release
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones visited the devastated burn area of the Valley Fire Friday. Commissioner Jones met with local and state officials to discuss insurance issues affecting residents who have been displaced by the devastating wildfire, and those recovering and rebuilding homes lost in the firestorm. During his visit, Jones also met with evacuees at the Kelseyville High School evacuation center, and spoke with first responders and volunteers assisting with the recovery effort.
"The Department of Insurance is here to help all residents affected by this devastating fire," said Commissioner Jones. "Our team will also be available at the Local Assistance Center that is now open. Consumers are invited to speak to one of our Consumer Services Division representatives for help navigating the claim process."
During his meeting with local and state officials Jones shared crucial insurance tips for preparing for and recovering from disasters. Residents were reminded they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses including housing and food, even if their home is not damaged or destroyed by fire. Once the fire is contained and residents begin to move back to their homes, detectives from the Department of Insurance will be on-site to educate them about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to disaster recovery.
"It is important for homeowners to have an opportunity to assess their situation and losses in order to make informed decisions. Public adjusters are prohibited from soliciting business for seven days following the reopening of a declared disaster area. This waiting period gives residents time to talk to their insurance agent before making decisions about hiring public adjusters and contractors," said Jones.
Fire victims can also call the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357) for questions about their insurance and coverage.
The Department of Insurance consumer services team regularly participates in Cal OES established local assistance centers for consumers needing assistance recovering from wildfires.
Don't forget copies of insurance policies, important papers and a photo or video inventory of your possessions. An inventory can be completed quickly and easily on your smart phone and safely stored in the Cloud.
Find quick and easy tips to prepare your home to help keep your home from becoming fuel for a wildfire.
Additional tips and information for consumers about what to do before, during and after a wildfire are available from the California Department of Insurance. Download a free home inventory guide from the department website at insurance.ca.gov, or receive a hardcopy by calling the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357).
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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.